Adhi Indra Prasetya, Jakarta – After recently obtaining support from the United Jakarta Senior High School Alumni, incumbent presidential candidate President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo has now received support from retired TNI (Indonesian military) and Polri (national police) officers.
Event organisers claimed that some 1,000 retired officers attended the event and declared their support for Widodo and his vice presidential running mate Ma’ruf Amin in the 2019 presidential election.
The event took place at the Jakarta International Expo in Kemayoran, Central Jakarta, on Sunday February 10. The declaration of support was read out by former navy chief of staff retired Admiral Arief Koeshariadi.
“We as retired TNI-Polri officers declare, that with spirit and optimism in his practical experience, that we unanimously support Bapak [Mr] Jokowi and Bapak Ma’ruf Amin as president and vice president in continuing [their] development [program] in accordance with the 2nd Nawa Cita [Widodo’s nine point priority program]”, said Koeshariadi.
In his greetings, Koeshariadi said that Indonesia needs a leader that can set an example, is clean, honest, close to the people, has practical experience and has a strong commitment to developing the people’s welfare. He believes that Widodo’s leadership over the last four years can be seen from the practical experience of what he has done.
“We the TNI and Polri retired officers present at this event declare, with spirit of enthusiasm in Widodo’s practical experience over these four years, that we unanimously declare our support for Jokowi and Kiai [Islamic teacher] Ma’ruf as president and vice president for the term 2019-2024 in accordance with the second Nawa Cita”, said Koeshariadi.
“To advance Indonesia’s progress, sovereignty and independence based on [the state ideology of] Pancasila and the UUD [1945 Constitution]”, he said.
Following the declaration, Widodo expressed his gratitude for the support from the retired officers saying that the key to security and political stability is in the hands of Polri and the TNI.
“I have been convinced from the start, that the key to political stability and security, lies in the solidity of the TNI and Polri. There is no other, I’m sure of this”, he said.
The retired officers present at the event included, among others, retired former TNI deputy commander General Fachrul Razi, former armed forces chief of staff retired Lieutenant General Suaidi Marasabessy, former army chief of staff retired General Subagyo HS and former navy chief retired Admiral Bernard Kent Sondakh.
Also present was former Papua-Maluku navy base commander retired Rear Admiral Freddy Numberi and former air force chief of staff Air Martial Agus Supriyatna, as well as three former national police chiefs, retired General Bimantoro, retired General Roesmanhadi and retired General Da’i Bachtiar.
Widodo went on to say that active TNI and Polri officers must be neutral in the upcoming election, but if they have already retired it was a different matter. “[Active] TNI and Polri officers must be neutral. But those present here are retired TNI and Polri, so please differentiate”, said Widodo.
Widodo guaranteed that these retired officers would not influence their junior officers who are still on active duty.
“No, no, [they’ll be] no (influence). So you, retired TNI and Polri [officers] are figures who are active in society, the regions, the provinces, in regencies and cities. So, so it is natural for you to become figures who are influential in the regions, regencies, the cities and provinces”, said Widodo. (jor/rvk)
[Abridged translation by James Balowski compiled from on two reports by Detik on February 10 titled “1.000 Purnawirawan TNI-Polri Deklarasi Dukung Jokowi” and “Didukung 1.000 Purnawirawan, Jokowi: Mereka Berpengaruh di Wilayah”.]